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Working with Your Bank to Reduce Fees

By now, most if not all banks have implemented new banking fees to make up for the lost revenue as a result of the recently passed credit card relief bill. What was once “free” checking now comes with a fee and minimum monthly balance requirements are in vogue again.  But, there are still ways to reduce or avoid the fees and you don’t necessarily have to change banks to do it.

employer-check-credit-reportBank Relationships Matter
Just because a bank is charging a new checking account fee doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to pay it. Many banks value their relationships with customers, especially those that have a long history with the bank and also use other products.

Meet with your assigned bank representative to discuss ways to eliminate and reduce the new fees.  If the bank representative doesn’t seem to budge much, explain how you are considering switching to a competing bank because they offer a better option.  Banks have customer retention quotas to meet so this tactic might work in your favor.

Stop Using a Human Teller
There are some banks that will waive a fee if you bank entirely online or at the ATM which means not using any of their human teller services.  Today, this is feasible with ATM’s accepting checks and new mobile technology allowing customers to snap a picture of their check and deposit with their smart phone. But, make sure you save all your receipts and make copies.

Maintaining a Minimum Balance and Using More Banking Products
If you can maintain a certain minimum monthly balance it is also possible that you can make the case for your checking account fees to be waived.  In addition to that, banks love when a customer uses their checking, brokerage and credit card services.  It’s worth exploring adding a service or two while you’re meeting with your assigned bank representative.  That will really get the bank excited and fees will likely be dropped.

More Personal Finance Questions? Browse Answers or Ask a Financial Professional Online.

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